Too Late, Valley Swim Club; You’ve Got a Lawsuit on Your Hands

Today, the Valley Swim Club, after days of outrage, criticism and concern, decided to reinvite the black and Latino children of the Creative Steps Day Camp to use their swimming facilities. Unfortunately, the club’s save-our-asses gesture has come too late for some of the parents of those children. From MSNBC:

The president of the swim club’s board of directors, John Duesler, has said the decision was made because there were too many children in the pool and the situation was unsafe, not because of racial concerns.

Amy Goldman, a member of The Valley Club, said those able to attend a hastily called meeting Sunday afternoon voted unanimously in support of reinstating the memberships of the Creative Steps day camp and two other camps as long as safety issues, times and terms can be agreed upon.

“We have near-unanimous approval from our membership, so at this point we’ll be figuring out … how to approach all the camps and see how we can move forward,” Duesler told WPVI-TV at the club’s entrance on Sunday.

Um, sure.

Well, too damn late now. The club has Senator Arlen Spector bird-dogging them; the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission has launched an investigation; black Olympic swimmer Cullen Jones has expressed his dismay; and the NAACP released a statement amid their 100th anniversary that hinted that they might join the fray. However, the parents have beat them to it:

A discrimination lawsuit has been filed against a suburban Philadelphia swim club that canceled the pool memberships of dozens of minority children.

The lawsuit alleges that The Valley Club in Huntingdon Valley discriminated against the children on the basis of race.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court on Friday, demands unspecified damages on behalf of several unnamed children and parents. Two attorneys are seeking class-action status for a group that could number 60 children and 120 parents.

At least one parent wanted to go on with the case regardless of what happened, said attorney Brian R. Mildenberg, who commended Valley Swim for their offer. However, he said that the black and Latino parents of the children would have to be consulted about their readiness to accept such an offer, and whether they would withdraw their lawsuit as a result.

I don’t think this is going happen any time soon. Alethea Wright, the heroine in this case, thinks the children are scarred for life, and that apologies are simply wasted by now. The Creative Steps parents are still hot under the collar, and frankly, I would be, too. These people are going to be sorrrry that they let their racism down like soiled panties. This episode is going to be a warning to every other discriminatory club around, and it has little incentive of going away quick as in previous years.

Might turn out like that time the Klan decided to hang a young black man, Michael Donald, in the early Eighties, just after Reagan came in. By the time Morris Dees and the Southern Poverty Law Center got through with the United Klans of America, Michael Donald’s mother had the deed to the headquarters and the surrounding land.

In no way does Michael Donald’s horrifying and untimely death equate with this nauseating and destructive episode. However, it’s the outcome that I’m wanting to spotlight. Dees bankrupted the organization so that they had nothing left to spread their hate.

Wanna bet that Creative Steps gets a piece of real estate out of this?

~ by blksista on July 13, 2009.

2 Responses to “Too Late, Valley Swim Club; You’ve Got a Lawsuit on Your Hands”

  1. “Alethea Wright, the heroine in this case”

    the heroine is this case??? lol, you are kidding here, right? she was just convicted of tax evastion in Philedelphia Court, fined over $9,000 … and she is a “heroine”??

    my hope is this thing DOES go to court, that the Valley Swim Club wins their counter-suits for damages, libel and costs, and that it sends the proper message to people who scream racism, when there is no evidence whatsoevere to justify the action other than hearsay.

    The Valley Swim Club has black, asian, latino and bi-racial members, but they are a bunch of racists? huh?
    two other white childrens groups were also denied, why are they not sueing?


  2. What is WRONG with people???!!!! Have we learned nothing in our sordid history of terrorism, racism, brutality. Can’t we even be kind to CHILDREN? I watched some of the confirmation hearing today. What a JOKE. Buncha racist, yea, I said racist, old men trying to lecture Ms Sotomayor on right and wrong. She knew exactly what to do to get past this mess. Bring it on, lady. We need you.


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